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D-III Whitworth Enters Tourney As First Washington Men's Basketball Team To Finish Number One

As we all gear up for NCAA Division I conference tournaments and Spokane looks forward to becoming the first city to  host the first through fourth rounds of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament, a Division III school in Spokane has already hit a unique milestone.

When the 26-1 Whitworth University Pirates - a small private liberal arts school in Spokane - finished the season as the nation's number one NCAA Division III team, it was not only the first time in school history they finished number one, but also the first time in Washington state history that any NCAA men's basketball team finished a season ranked number one in a NCAA poll.

Whitworth actually achieved the milestone of becoming the first Washington state team in men's basketball team to reach number one back in early February, but briefly fell to number two after suffering their only loss of the season to Whitman back on February 15.

Whitworth men take over No. 1 in Division III basketball poll - - March 2, 2011
The Bucs, who were awarded an opening-round tournament bye and second-round home game Saturday against the winner of Thursday’s Redlands- Chapman first-round matchup, were No. 2 in last week’s rankings but moved up after previously top-ranked Williams lost to Middlebury in the title game of the NESCAC tournament.

As the number one seed overall, Whitworth received a bye in the first round of the D-III tournament and will begin tournament play at home in Spokane tomorrow at 7 p.m. PST against 25-3 Chapman, which beat University of Redlands in the first round yesterday.

If nothing else, it's cool trivia to keep up with.

To keep up with Whitworth and the D-III tournament, check out